Jonathan Keller and Keetra Dixon, ’99
As married designers, Jonathan Keller and Keetra Dixon work separately but with a common attitude: break the rules. “We want to be surprised by the outcome of our own work,” Keller explains. “We’ll incorrectly use tools, or intentionally break software to achieve new forms.” Dixon adds that, “digital tools have affected design . . . but I’d explore the tools regardless. Communication and honing an experience is still the final goal.”
For Keller the lure of design was digital interactivity, and for Dixon it was the way Gestalt psychology helped her arrange words on surfaces, in what she calls “an intimidatingly subjective pursuit.” Now Keller is a web designer/developer for a nonprofit foundation, while Dixon teaches full-time at the Maryland Institute College of Art, in addition to doing client commissions.
In independent works, both stretch the boundaries of design with exhibition-worthy and award-winning creations. Keller forces digital printers to print “incorrectly,” smearing letters for surreal results. Dixon has placed text in unlikely and whimsical settings, such as the phrase “everything is going to be ok” printed large on a blanket. Together, they expect all design to get more physically involved with its users, whether through an interface or a blanket.